Trump Campaign Rejects Any Debate Rules Changes, Following Chaotic Cleveland Debate
President Donald Trump and his campaign indicated Thursday they would not accept any changes to the presidential debate rules, following a chaotic first debate filled with interruptions by Trump.
It is unclear how Trump’s quarantine and COVID-19 diagnosis will impact the remaining two presidential debates. The second debate is scheduled for Oct. 15 but may have to be rescheduled or have its format modified if the president is still not recovered at that point.
Any changes would be intended to keep the debate on track and less unruly. Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who criticized Trump during the debate for his frequent interjections, said he would be willing to make rule changes, including allowing moderators to mute the two candidates’ microphones.
Biden said he’s open to allowing moderators to mute the mics as long as “we have an opportunity to respond to the questions from the people in the audience.”
Trump, on the other hand, shot down the idea.
“Why would I allow the Debate Commission to change the rules for the second and third Debates when I easily won last time?” Trump wrote of the proposal.
The independent Commission on Presidential Debates sets the rules and does not need approval from either campaign to change the terms, so the Trump campaign likely has little say in the matter.
“We do not want any changes to what has been laid out and already been agreed to for the second and third debates,” Trump campaign strategist Jason Miller said of the proposed changes. “We have not asked for any changes. The Biden camp has.”
Miller also attacked the debate commission itself, calling its leaders “permanent swamp monsters” who favor Biden.
“They picked the moderator. They picked the questions, but it didn’t turn out the way that they wanted,” Miller said. The questions were actually written by the moderator, Fox News host Chris Wallace.
Both campaigns met with the commission at 9 a.m. the day after the debate to review the upcoming vice presidential debate scheduled for Oct. 7. At the meeting, Biden’s campaign offered suggestions on changing the format, Trump’s lead negotiator, Max Miller told the Washington Post.
Miller said Biden’s debate negotiator, Brady Williamson, offered “suggestions” for changes but “he wasn’t demanding it.”
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